Tuesday, May 4, 2010


It’s a beautiful Spring day in Ann Arbor, and the University of Michigan, Department of Geological Sciences, Annual Spring Geology Field Trip is underway.  Those last-minute trips to Bivouac and REI were a success.  Everyone showed up on-time.  We've finished loading our gear on the U-M bus that is taking us to Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).  So far we haven't left anything or anyone important behind (yet). 

This year there are 34 students participating in the spring field trip, plus Kacey Lohmann, Nathan Niemi, and myself; Nathan will join us for the second half of the trip.  I was hoping President Obama would stick around to see us off after dropping by the Big House for commencement this past weekend, but he's already gone south to learn more about Louisiana geology.  There were plenty of others to see us off though, since for the first time in awhile we weren't leaving at the crack of dawn. 

From Detroit we fly Delta 2417 to Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS), where we will begin our exploration of the geology of the southwestern US in earnest. Flying to-and-from Las Vegas easily saves us six days of driving, so we'll be able to spend a much greater portion of our two-weeks in the field actually looking at geology.  Flying is expensive these days though, and we still have to rent vans in Las Vegas, pay for gas, camping fees, food, etc., so many thanks to Shell and others who are helping subsidize the cost of this trip; in particular because it helps ensure that these important and unique educational experiences remain affordable for to our

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